Ahead of Fuzz Club’s Eindhoven festival offering next weekend, we caught up with their main man Casper Dee to find out more about the festival and the history behind one of our favourite labels.
Hi Casper, thanks for talking to me! Can you start by telling us more about the label, for example when did it start and who’s involved?
Fuzz Club as a “concept” started as a MySpace profile back in 2006 and to make a long story short that eventually lead to me starting the label. I started the label in 2012 while I was based on an island at the top of Norway in 24-hour darkness. The first release was The Underground Youth – Delirium but it wasn’t before the compilation album The Reverb Conspiracy that the label really took shape. Keith Milla (Bad Vibrations) and I put on a weekender at the Shacklewell Arms in London to celebrate the Reverb Conspiracy release. It ended up being a wild weekend and I eventually ended up marrying Keith’s roommate and moving to London where the label is currently based. The label has pretty much been a one-man band since the beginning with the help of the occasional intern, wife and friends. Jack Palfrey joined a couple of years ago and is now running the press and marketing for the label.
What was the motivation to start a label?
Back in 2012, there were all these great bands popping up on Youtube and I simply thought that if no one is going to put this out on vinyl I would do it myself. Then one thing led to another and the ball started rolling. I think my main motivation has always just been to get all this great music that is being made now out for people to hear.
So why psychedelic rock, and it’s associated genres?
I’ve never been a fan of psychedelic rock and I wouldn’t call Fuzz Club a psychedelic rock label. Are some of the music we put out psychedelic? Yes, I suppose, but then again it seems like everything with a delay pedal is psychedelic nowadays. We are definitely a “psych” label, but there seems to be this misconception that “psych” is the same as “psychedelic rock”, which is far from the case. Psychedelic rock, in a nutshell, is pretty much Grateful Dead. Psych, on the other hand, is an umbrella term for good alternative music … in my opinion. Within “psych” you’ll find everything from electronica and acid house to folk music. I was born and bred on rock n roll so Fuzz Club will reflect that. But as the all mighty Lux Interior said, don’t confuse rock n roll with rock music.
Where did the name come from?
Oh if I only could remember. I was trying to come up with a name for a long time but it just didn’t click. But then one day when I woke up after a bender I had written it down on a napkin. I thought the name defined what I wanted to do really well and it sounded and looked pretty cool. What more could you want from a name, so I settled on that.
Your roster is impressive to say the least; have you any favourites? Or is there anyone people should know about and may not do?
Thanks, I’m really happy with the roster. It’s hard to choose favourites. It would be like choosing your favourite child. But it goes without saying that The Underground Youth are very special to me. According to my iTunes; Throw Down Bones is my favourite, followed by Sonic Jesus and 10000 Russos. But you know, these are bands that I’ve worked with for a long time and have a close personal relationship with. This summer RF Shannon and Routine Death have been has been on repeat. There is also a recording that I have of The Myrrors from the Fuzz Club Festival in London a couple of years ago that have got a lot of plays. It all depends on the mood really. Some music is better in the sunshine and some in the dark.
What gave you the idea to put on a festival? And why was Eindhoven chosen as the host?
For us at have been involved with Fuzz Club and all the people that are travelling from every corner of the world the festival is a big celebration. We’ve worked really hard to get where we are today and we just have to do this while we are all still around. For the business, I wanted to create a showcase that could raise our profile in central Europe. God knows which state we’ll be in after Brexit. So if we have to pack our bags and leave the island, central Europe is a good place to go. The Effenaar venue is one of the best in Europe with a rich musical history, so perfect for what I wanted to create. I know the team behind Effenaar from doing a stage at Eindhoven Psych Lab which was held at the same venue.
Eindhoven is really easy and cheap to get to from anywhere really so it seems like a good place to do the festival.
Tell us some more about what the weekend has in store?
I’m obviously looking forward to seeing all these amazing bands under one roof. But for me and for a lot of people, I believe, the main thing is getting together and having a great time. The festival is essentially a global musical community getting together. Last time I checked there were people from 35 countries coming to the festival. That is special for a festival this size! The bands are just getting better and better so chances are that you will see some of the best shows you’ve ever seen. Sam Wiehl, who does the visuals at Liverpool Psych Fest among other things, will be in charge of the visuals. And from what I’ve seen that will be next level! It’s going to be a pretty special weekend that is for sure.
And what can we expect for the rest of 2018?
There will be a lot of good albums coming out! There will be new albums from The Oscillation, Medicine Boy and Throw Down Bones to name a few. We just put out the first issue of our printed Fuzz Club Magazine and have started work on the next issue and we’ll be opening a pop-up shop in East-London. So yeah, busy as always.